As more applications, both on-premises and in the cloud, continue to increase, enterprise organizations continue to struggle with the complexity of managing storage environments. How are most IT departments addressing this challenge and is it working?
SU: To reduce storage management complexity, we invented a grid technology that allows storage appliances, either physical or virtual, to be linked together and managed together as a unit. This grid management technology rests at the center of our Software Defined Storage (SDS) platform enabling storage grids to span sites and datacenters so that all of an IT organization’s storage systems can be managed and provisioned by logging into any appliance using a web browser. Within a grid, enterprises can deploy scale-out file, block, and object storage and scope storage clusters to a subset of the appliances. This lets IT organizations manage and deploy all of their NAS, SAN, and Object storage needs from a single platform.
Define what you mean by ‘Software Defined Storage’ (SDS) and how does that differ from traditional storage solutions?
SU: Software Defined Storage is a powerful tool for IT administrators as it enables them to use their commodity server hardware interchangeably for compute and storage as opposed to traditional storage solutions that lock enterprises into proprietary hardware and filesystems with limited protocol support. OSNEXUS is unique in that we are the only SDS vendor to deliver a unified scale-out file, block and object platform on open filesystems to form easy to manage storage grids up to 64 physical or virtual storage appliances locally or dispersed across geographies. The layered architecture of OSNEXUS’ SDS solution provides solution engineers with unprecedented flexibility and application design options that maximizes workload performance and fault-tolerance for a wide range of storage workloads.
Tell us about your solution, QuantaStor.
SU: QuantaStor SDS, OSNEXUS’ flagship product, is a unified Software Defined Storage (SDS) platform designed to scale up and out to make storage management easy while reducing overall enterprise storage costs. Our hyper-scale grid storage architecture allows IT organizations to expand on demand and essentially without limit. This means new storage appliances can be added to a cluster or multi-site cluster to grow an environment from small scale to 10s or soon 100s of petabytes of storage. We are also the only SDS vendor to deliver a unified scale-out file, block and object platform on open source filesystems.
What open source file system technologies does QuantaStor integrate with?
SU: Linux is the underlying operating system for the QuantaStor SDS platform and we integrate the scale-out capabilities of proven open source file systems from Ceph, GlusterFS, and ZFS. We contribute our enhancements of these data-plane storage technologies back to the open-source community allowing us to focus more energy on control-plane aspects of the QuantaStor SDS platform.
OSNEXUS just announced advanced security features to its platform. Can you highlight the new features?
SU: Our security model includes end-to-end security coverage enabling multi-layer data protection “on the wire” and “at rest” for enterprise and cloud storage deployments. This means that our customers can deploy security and encryption measures at the user level by masking user permissions and allowing administrators to grant permissions for users at the storage object level, to all objects in the user’s associated cloud(s) or to the entire storage system. For data-at-rest, QuantaStor features “one-click” full drive software encryption with Intel AES-NI technology and FIPS 140-2 self-encrypting drive support with certified hardware. QuantaStor also provides data on-the-wire encryption via SMB3, IPSec, and HTTPS. For iSCSI storage, QuantaStor uses Challenge-Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP) supporting CHAP for storage volumes, user levels and storage clouds providing easier management and SAN security. Finally, all data replication and storage grid management communications are encrypted using SSL/TLS 1.2 with strong ciphers.
What are some of the use cases for QuantaStor?
SU: QuantaStor SDS addresses a broad set of storage use cases including Server Virtualization, Backup and Archive, Big Data, Cloud Computing, and High-performance Applications. One example of a compelling QuantaStor SDS use case is automating backup, restore and archiving of business-critical data. QuantaStor SDS makes sophisticated backup and archiving capabilities available to companies of all sizes, including data that was previously stored on tape that can be shifted to low-cost near line disk storage, while maintaining high recovery time objectives (RTOs). Providing elastic storage capabilities, cloud-based archiving, fault-tolerance and load balancing, QuantaStor SDS physical or virtualized storage nodes offer significant improvements in IT agility and increased ROI.
Can you name a few customers and how they are using QuantaStor?
SU: OSNEXUS has over 600 active paid deployments globally, many with Fortune 500 companies across vertical industries including banking, insurance, energy, media and entertainment, healthcare, retail, telecoms and transportation. One media and entertainment post-production house, Zoic Studios, uses QuantaStor SDS to optimize storage, data and production workflows while reducing their overall IT costs.
What do you see is the future of storage and the next big opportunity?
SU: In the future, OSNEXUS envisions more and more customers choosing to deploy fractional storage arrays that’s a virtual storage appliance. We also see elastic search as being the next storage opportunity just as S3/SWIFT object storage protocols entered into the storage landscape with NAS and SAN protocols. That’s going to enable a broad set of additional use cases for scale-out storage and will enable their customers to analyze data and extract business intelligence and more value out of their data assets.